Rodrigo Blaas ‘ALMA’ – Review

ALMA, Rodrigo Blaas

Never peek in windows.

Alma is an adorable, yet unexpectedly spooky 3D animated short directed by ex-Pixar animator Rodrigo Blaas. Set in Barcelona during the winter time, a young girl named Alma (Spanish for soul) discovers a wall across from an empty toy store with names scribbled on it. With an atmosphere that lures the viewer in, it is easy to see why Alma has won multiple awards and why DreamWorks is interested in developing the short into a feature length film. End the Halloween season with something adorably creepy.

Alma wanderers on a narrow street in the middle of winter in Barcelona. She happens upon a wall with the names of many other people scribbled on it, some clearly belonging to people of different nationalities. Once she scribbles her name onto the wall, a doll ascends into the front window of an empty toy store–with every physical detail of her intact, right down to her clothing and beautiful green eyes. Curious, Alma enters the shop to retrieve the doll only to discover there is something strange about the store.

The animation in the short is of supreme quality, and Blaas’ Pixar credentials really show. Alma’s eyes are absolutely stunning, and the dolls are very humanlike, with clothes that reflect a variety of different cultures around the world, as well as time periods. Subtle details such as the names on the wall suggest there could have been tourists or immigrants who happened upon the toy store before Alma that scribbled their name on the chalkboard–and met their fate.

While there is no spoken dialogue, the eerily cheerful music compliments the dark undertones of the short well. Guillermo del Toro will produce a feature length version of the Alma film, and Blass will be working with DreamWorks Animation to work on the movie.

I am looking forward to a feature length version of the short film.

Alma is Rodrigo Blaas’ first short film as a director. Originally from Spain, Rodrigo Blaas has worked in animation for more than ten years, in Spain and in the United States. Seizing the possibility of directing his first independent short film, Rodrigo Blaas asked some of the best artists in their field to take part in this independent project: French animator Bolhem Bouchiba, character designer Carlos Grangel and Sergio Pablos, ArtDirector Alfonso Blaas, music composer Mastretta and sound designer Tom Myers.

Written and Directed by: Rodrigo Blaas
Produced by: Cecile Hokes
Music: Mastretta
Art Director: Alfonso Blaas
Lighting Supervisor: Jonatan Catalán
Character Technical Supervisor: Jaime Maestro
Character Design: Bolhem Bouchiba, Carlos Grangel,
Sergio Pablos, Santi Agustí
Animation: Daniel Peixe, ManueBover, Remi Hueso
Sound Design: Tom Myers and David Hughes
Post Production Coordinator: David Heras
Special Thanks: Keytoon, Next Limit, UserT38

Source Rodrigo Blaas’ ALMA

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

  • Alma
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  • Last modified: 2012-10-29

Review Summary:

Alma is a 2009 Spanish short film produced by ex-Pixar animator Rodrigo Blaas. It was received notable recognition at the Fantastic Fest awards. The word "alma" in Spanish means "soul".

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